Nature & Wildlife
"Eierlegende Wollmilchsau" translates to "egg-laying wooly dairy pig". The term is used in German language to describe an all-in-one solution.

Eierlegende Wollmilchsau

This beautiful German term that is used for persons, devices and anything else that is required (or advertised) to serve an unrealistic number of purposes in a perfect way.

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Versuchskaninchen: When you are used for an experiment, you are not a "guinea pig" in Germany, but a "test rabbit"

Versuchskaninchen

This term is used quite loosely and frequently in German. For instance, if you try a new recipe on a friend – before you might embarrass yourself in front of your date – he is your Versuchskaninchen.

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Meerbusen: A gulf is literally called a "sea boob" in German.

Meerbusen

Of, course, there is a good reason for this. The word Meerbusen is a loan translation of the Latin “sinus maritimus.” The word “sinus” can refer to both a bay and… well… a breast.

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Hamsterkauf ("hamster purchase"): That’s how Germans refer to panic buying. However, they tend to hoard toilet paper rather than pets.

Hamsterkauf

The term goes back to the hamster’s ability to collect vast quantities of supplies in its cheek pouches. Just like the Germans’ ability to stash vast quantities of noodles and toilet paper in their cellars.

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Eselsbrücke: When you are making up a little memory hook, Germans will say you are building a “donkey bridge”

Eselsbrücke

It has probably nothing to do with donkeys being stupid, but rather a bit stubborn. They refuse to wade through water – so their owners have to build an improvised bridge to make them cross a creek.

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Klammeraffe ("spider monkey"): That’s how Germans used to call the @-sign and I really wonder why no one uses this adorable name anymore

Klammeraffe

In the late 90s, the @ sign was virtually emblematic of the Internet boom. Today, we use it primarily to tag someone in a WhatsApp chat.

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Hundewetter: When it's very unpleasant outside, Germans will say it's a "dog weather"

Hundewetter

The shepherd dog is emblematic of Germany in a way that otherwise only socks and sandals are. Without a doubt, Germans love their canine friends. So it comes as a great surprise that this love is not at all reflected in their language.

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Nacktschnecke: A slug is simply called a “naked snail” in Germany

Nacktschnecke

Have you ever heard the cliché of Germans being somewhat uptight? Well, that’s not true across the board. Especially, when it comes to nudity, Germans are stunningly open-minded.

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Saulkaue: When your handwriting is so bad that it looks like a pig wrote it, Germans will say you have a “sow hoof”

Sauklaue

Nearly nine in ten educators say that students’ handwriting has become worse in recent years. Or in other words: more and more students have a real Sauklaue.

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Schluckspecht: When you drink unreasonable amounts of alcohol, Germans will call you a “swallowing woodpecker”

Schluckspecht

According to the most recent studies, you can basically think of Germany as an all-year Oktoberfest with 83 million daily visitors.

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Muskelkater: When your body feels all stiff and sore after you have worked out, Germans will say you have a terrible “muscle tomcat”

Muskelkater

More than 10 million Germans are members of a fitness club. Many of them demonstrate an iron German discipline, never leaving the gym until they have completed their third set of selfies.

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Elefantenrennen: That's how Germans refer to a lengthy overtaking maneuver of two trucks on the Autobahn

Elefantenrennen

German LKW just don’t look as badass as American trucks. Plus, they tend to block the roads with lengthy and completely out-of-place overtaking maneuvers just when I want to get home quickly because I have Flitzkacke. 

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Kuhkaff ("cow dump"): An extremely small and dull village where cows make up the largest partof the population

Kuhkaff

If you really want to experience Germany, you need to visit not only its big cities, but also its smallest villages. Like Gröde, for example, with its 11 inhabitants—a real “Kaff”!

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Drehwurm: When you feel dizzy after riding a carousel, you literally have a “spin worm” in Germany

Drehwurm

Drehwurm may sound like one of these jolly modern neologisms. However, the word has a serious and somewhat sinister background. There is actually a species that is popularly called Drehwurm, which is not a nice one.

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Dachshund, Kindergarten, Sauerkraut, Wunderkind: There are more than 400 German loan words in English

German loan words 

German loan words are used not only the French and Arabic speaking world, but also in distant places like Papua New Guinea, Kenia or Korea. First and foremost however, the English language is literally packed with them.

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German is weird: Fun Facts and Trivia about the German language

This blog is a love letter to the curiosities of the German language that give it its poetic and, at times, oddly humorous qualities.

German Is Weird: Crazy Words von Arschkarte bis Zielwasser - from "ass card" to "aiming water"

The “German Is Weird” book is now available: order here!

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